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China reduces corn planting area amid excessive stock

Updated: Dec 18,2017 3:58 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s corn planting area is expected to be reduced by 1.33 million hectares in 2017 as the country seeks to address excessive corn stock, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

The reductions mainly concentrate in areas with low and unsteady output, including the country’s arid northwest and desertified regions in the southwest.

Years of support for corn farmers has left China with a substantial stockpile. In 2016, China’s corn output stood at around 220 million tons, while stocks amounted to 230 million tons.

To balance the market, China has been pushing for agricultural reform since 2016, urging farmers to adjust their mix of crops to stop blind expansion and focus on sustainable development, particularly in the corn industry.

While reducing corn output, China has been actively increasing the supply of crops that are in short supply, such as soybeans and potatoes.

Earlier this month, a committee from the MOA raised forecasts for corn output to 216 million tons in the 2017-18 crop year.

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